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Jalebi three ways

What’s Diwali without jalebi? EKTA SHARMA tries three different versions this time round!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Woh tyohaar hi kya, jismey jalebi na ho?  What’s the fun in festivities without jalebis?

And a Diwali without jalebis, now that’s unheard of.

Of course, if you’re a jalebi fan like me, you don’t wait for Diwali or any other tyohaar (festival) to show that jalebi love. Perhaps for me, this stems from the days my dad, another jalebi fan, brought home hot crispy jalebis almost every Sunday, and without fail on school exam results day, on birthdays and on anniversaries.

You’ll find jalebi on any list of top Indian sweet eats. Except, did you know, jalebi is not originally Indian! Yes, you heard that right – jalebi came to India from Persia. It’s been variously called zolabiya, jalepi, and jalipi, but this spiral sweetness has now become a Diwali mainstay.

Jalebi- a spiral sweetness. Source: Unsplash
Jalebi- a spiral sweetness. Source: Unsplash

As an adult, I learnt that you don’t have to be a halwai to make perfect jalebis: with the right measurements and step wise instructions, you’re all set to go.

I’ve experimented with three different recipes for this Diwali. You can too – don’t worry, they’re easy-breezy to execute, and the results are delicious.

Bhai waah, as they say in that song Afghan Jalebi. (Okay, honest confession – I’ve caught myself humming this number a bit too often these past few days…). You might prefer Jalebi Bai, or Jalebi Baby, as your go-to song when you try these recipes out, let me know!

Rose Jalebi

Rose Jalebi. Source: Canva
Rose Jalebi. Source: Canva

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cornflour or black lentil (urad dal) powder
  • ½ cup ghee
  • Pinch baking soda
  • Ghee for frying
  • For the sugar syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water

Few drops of rose essence or rose water

 Method

Mix flour, a spoonful of ghee and baking soda in a large bowl. Add water to make a batter. Make sure it’s not too flowy.

Keep it aside while you make the sugar syrup.

Combine sugar and water in a deep saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then let it bubble away for 10 minutes, till it reaches one-string consistency. Add rose water or essence and keep it aside.

To make jalebis, heat ghee in a flat wok or pan. You could put your batter in a piping bag, but an empty sauce bottle works better – it’s handy and drip free! When the ghee is hot, gently squirt your batter into it, in spirals. As the jalebis get sturdy flip them over with tongs. When nice and brown, take them out and dunk in the sugar syrup. Don’t delay this process as the jalebis will get brittle. Soak them for a minute or so, and they are ready to serve.

Serving suggestion: Rose jalebi is yummy with cold kheer.

Beetroot Jalebi

Beetroot Jalebi. Source: Canva
Beetroot Jalebi. Source: Canva

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup ghee
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp chickpea flour (besan) optional
  • ½ cup beetroot juice or very fine beetroot puree (To make beetroot juice, half boil the beetroot, cool down and puree)
  • 2 pinches baking soda
  • Ghee for frying
  • For the sugar syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • 2 cups water

Method

Mix flour, a spoonful of ghee, beetroot juice, cornflour, besan if using, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add just enough water to make a batter. Make sure it’s not too flowy. The beetroot will give it a gentle pink colour.

Set aside while you make the sugar syrup.

Combine sugar and water in a deep saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then let it bubble away for 10 minutes, till it reaches one-string consistency. Add lemon juice and keep it aside.

To make jalebis, heat ghee in a flat wok or pan. Gently squirt the batter in, in spirals. Use tongs to flip the jalebi over. Remember not to fry your beetroot jalebis too brown. They must be kept light pink. Dunk into syrup when done, for about a minute or two.

Serving suggestion: Beetroot jalebis taste best with yogurt or rabdi.

Paneer Jalebi

Paneer Jalebi. Source: Canva
Paneer Jalebi. Source: Canva

Ingredients

  • 1 cup paneer
  • ½  cup plain flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • Ghee for frying
  • Powdered pistachio for garnish.
  • For the sugar syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch saffron or powdered cardamom
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 large slices of lemon

 Method

Add a little water to plain flour and whisk pouring consistency. For this version of jalebi, you’ll need to keep whisking for 5-6 minutes. Set aside for an hour.

To make the sugar syrup, combine sugar and water in a deep saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then let it bubble away for 10 minutes, till it reaches one-string consistency. Add lemon slices and saffron or cardamom powder and keep it aside.

Mash paneer and knead till very smooth. Add to batter.

To make jalebis, heat ghee in a flat wok or pan. (Keep heat medium – high heat will harden this version of jalebi.) Gently squirt your batter in, in spirals. Use tongs to flip over. Dunk into syrup when done, for about a minute or two.

Serve sprinkled with powdered pistachio.

READ ALSO: Healthy Diwali, Happy Diwali


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